Deflated footballs? That's yesterday's news. But were those Nebraska Cornhuskers inspired by the New England Patriots?

Andre Hollins — questioned about the team's 9-for-19 performance from the free-throw line in a 52-49 loss to the Huskers on Tuesday night — cited something other than the team's inability to hit shots from the charity stripe, a yearlong problem.

"They were loose rims and [Nebraska uses] Adidas balls, that has something to do with it," Hollins said. "But we've still got to knock those down to finish out the play."

The senior guard stopped far short of accusing anyone of cheating. Although Nike and Anaconda Sports' The Rock balls are the most popular, Adidas balls are not unusual or unexpected and Nebraska is sponsored by Adidas. Even if the rims were a little more relaxed than usual, it would have also affected the Huskers, who shot just over 40 percent from the field and went 14-for-21 (66.7 percent) from the line.

But it was an odd comment considering Minnesota (12-8; 1-6 in the Big Ten) has struggled to hit free throws all season.

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